New Orleans Woman Convicted for Role in $3.2 Million Medicare Kickback Scheme
A federal jury found a New Orleans woman guilty today for her role in an approximately $3.2 million Medicare fraud and kickback scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Acting Special Agent in Charge Daniel Evans of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office and Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Field Office made the announcement.
After a three-day trial, Sandra Parkman, 61, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, two counts of health care fraud and five counts of accepting kickbacks. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt of the Eastern District of Louisiana, who presided over the trial.
According to evidence presented at trial, from 2004 to 2009, Parkman and others engaged in a scheme to provide medically unnecessary durable medical equipment, including power wheelchairs, to Medicare beneficiaries in and around New Orleans. The evidence showed that Parkman received kickback payments from the equipment supply company in return for providing eligible Medicare beneficiaries’ personal information to the company, as well as to obtain physican signatures on order forms.
As a result of the scheme, Parkman’s co-defendant, Tracy Richardson Brown, caused Medicare to pay over $3.2 million based on those illegally obtained referrals, the evidence showed.
Brown was previously convicted following a trial in June 2016 and was sentenced to 48 months in prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG. Trial Attorneys Kate Payerle and Jared Hasten of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in nine locations nationwide. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 3,500 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $12.5 billion.